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NBBF disowns Kaduna championships



The board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation has disassociated itself from a purported national Division 1 and 2 Championships slated for Kaduna from January 5.

This was contained in a communiqué to clubs and State Basketball Associations after the board got wind of plans by some people to organise and host teams in Kaduna.

The NBBF board led by Musa Kida, making reference to the December 12 and 13, 2017’s mail from the Federation of International Basketball Associations, said that any move by individuals or group of people to hold any national or parallel leagues was an effort in futility and an attempt to defraud clubs and sponsors of their hard-earned cash.

“I wish to state categorically that the NBBF has not sent out any invitation to states and teams for such a competition,” a letter addressed to clubs and state basketball chairmen and signed by the Secretary General of the federation,” Chimezie Asiegbu, read.

Asiegbu said in the letter that the invitations were sent out by individuals who wanted to heat up the basketball polity and warned clubs and sponsors to stay away from participating in activities that will create confusion and further make a mess of the arbitration process being supervised by FIBA.

Also reacting to this on behalf of the federation, the Vice President, Babatunde Ogunade, said FIBA had made it categorically clear that all organisational matters regarding to the national teams and leagues should be directed to the board of the NBBF whose President is Kida

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W’ Cup : Messi may be unstoppable – Simeone



Atletico Madrid Manager, Diego Simeone, has said the Super Eagles will need to work hard if they are to stop Barcelona’s talisman, Lionel Messi, at the World Cup next month.

Simeone, who was in Nigeria for a friendly match with Eagles Team B at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, said four-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, would be a hard nut to crack for the Eagles in Russia.

The Eagles are grouped with Iceland, Croatia and Argentina in Group D of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

He said Messi’s hunger for a World Cup trophy would make it difficult for the Eagles to stop him.

“If Messi is in a good shape, it will be very difficult to stop him. Messi is desperate to win the World Cup, so I don’t see Nigeria or any country stopping him,” he said.

“Nigeria has great players who can play at the top level at any time or against any country but at the moment, the Argentine side is a brilliant bunch. Argentina have very good players and they are a great team,’’ he said.

Argentina lost to Germany in last World Cup finals in Brazil with Messi as the captain. He consequently retired from the national team following the defeat and had to be persuaded return by his fellow countrymen and Argentine President Mauricio Macri who is his number one fan.

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Pogba seeks spiritual assistance, visits Mecca



French midfielder Paul Pogba has posted a video of himself at the holiest site of Islam in Saudi Arabia, as he prepares to join his French squad for the World Cup next month.

“Only the person that comes here can understand the feeling,” the 25-year-old Manchester United star said in an Instagram video from the holy city of Mecca.

“This a beautiful place — beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And the feeling… I cannot even explain to you.”

The Frenchman posted the video of himself standing in front of the Kaaba, a black cube towards which Muslims turn for their five daily prayers.

Pogba, who will be a key member of France’s World Cup team in Moscow, made a similar pilgrimage last year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.


He told the BBC last week that he and his France team-mates must approach the World Cup finals with the right mindset, as that counts more than technical ability.

The French — World Cup winners in 1998 and finalists in 2006 — are in Group C with Denmark, Australia and Peru and kick off their campaign in the Russian city of Kazan against the Australians on June 16.

Away from the World Cup, and despite speculation over his future at Manchester United, Pogba is determined to lift the Champions League with them in what is his second spell there.

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Wike: Eagles need love, support to excel




FG can motivate players to glory, says Bako


Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has called on Nigerians to show love to the national team the Super Eagles as the 2018 FIFA World Cup draws near.

Wike said on Tuesday that show of affection to the team would go a long way in motivating the players to put in their best.

The sports-loving governor said: “When you see people giving you attention and showing you love, you will want to do your best not to disappoint. That is what Nigerians should do at this point as the competition proper gets closer.

“Support is another key element and this can come in many forms from individuals and organisations. We should realise that these players are human and there is no way they will not appreciate good gesture from the populace.

“We all know the importance of football in this country and that is why people should think of how to offer support in their various ways to help the team. Rivers State as a government that loves sports will also do this.”

Wike, who was speaking at a World Cup Seminar organised by The Sun, added that Nigeria had the potential to shock the world in Russia.

Also speaking, former Director General of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, Danladi Bako, said the Federal Government had a big role to play in motivating the Eagles to glory.

Bako said: “The President can talk to the players shortly before going and during the competition he can talk to them regularly on the telephone to reassure them of Government’s support.

“Football has huge followership. Imagine about 60 million tweets on a single game of 90 minutes and that is why we have to play our part respectively as Nigerians to boost the team. Government alone cannot do it all.”

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